Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Philadelphia JAZZ LEGEND Nate Wiley has passed away 

Ron Swegman changed my night (& my LIFE!) recently with the news that Nate Wiley died a week ago. So many beautiful experiences I've shared with friends over the years listening to Nate Wiley & the Crowd Pleasers down on South Street at Bob & Barbara's Lounge. So many nights and so many shows that I have absolutely no idea how many, but I know I've seen them perform live more than any other band.

My old boyfriend Angel introduced me to their music many years ago. I was 19, and very much in Love with the music already, making out with Angel in the dark corners. It sounds corny, but the music opened the gates of Heaven for me back then, especially when I was with Angel. God it does sound corny, but it's true. I remember seeing them with Gil Ott and Lamont Steptoe one night after a reading at The Bacchanal, and I'm pretty sure that Amiri Barraka was also with us. Pegalina sang a song with them once which WAS SO GOOD, even Nate was impressed, and it took a lot to impress Nate. But then Pegalina wanted to read a poem from her book The Nude Testament and half the room booed, which sent her into a fit, shouting profanity into the microphone, which was then taken from her and she was told to sit down and shut up. My old boyfriend Barry threw up in the bathroom after too much whiskey but loved the music so much he refused to go home and just slumped back down in his chair and hummed along. Frank Sherlock and Jaime Earnest one FANTASTIC night after a poetry reading recently, (actually, it was a fantastic night until Frank realized later that some SCUMBAG pick-pocket had somehow managed to nab his wallet) and Nate agreed to play "SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES" by my request. NO ONE has ever (NOT that I've ever heard) played that song with quite the same MAGIC! For me it's Howard Candy's organ that makes the song SWING UP THE COSMIC ROPE! Been there numerous times with Matt and Nicole, with Ron Swegman, with Magdalena Zurawski, with Jen Hess, with Elizabeth Kirwin, with so many friends and so many visiting poets and others. So many MANY times hearing them that their music is stitched into my DNA! Once I went there with my old boyfriend Earth and a few of the drag queens from our building (the same building where Chris McCreary also lived -- The Imperial Hotel). Earth danced drunk with one of the drag queens who went by the name Baked Lasagna. He stood on her shoes and they bobbed around laughing, flashing their tits at the band, who shook their heads and laughed. That was a night I'll always remember, despite the alcohol and other substances we couldn't stop sucking down. Both Earth and the glittering, gorgeous Baked Lasagna are also now dead.

My hope is that Howard Candy and Cliff LaMarr don't call it quits, but we would all understand if they do. Nate's smoky sax sounds are irreplaceable. I miss the sound already, very sad.

We owe these men SO MUCH! It was never enough, no matter how much money you put in their bowl on the organ. And it always pissed me off how little people actually put in the bowl.

Has anyone heard of a memorial service of some kind? --CAConrad

Cliff LaMarr (drums), Nate Wiley (sax), Howard Candy (Hammond Organ)

A few online links for NATE WILEY & THE CROWD PLEASERS:

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Michael Moore's AMAZING new letter 


(photograph by Martin Fuchs)

--posted by CAConrad

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Poet Tom Raworth e-mailed this image today from his home in England, with the simple note, "Thanks to you too." Wow.

A few days ago I decided that there was no way I was going to join in the celebration of Thanksgiving Day as I have every year of my life in the past. In fact, when I started thinking of celebrating Thanksgiving the past three years I thought, "What was wrong with me!?" All these people being killed in Iraq and elsewhere because of America, why why why, why should we be celebrating a day of thanks?

Maybe it's good to alter how it's celebrated, being with family, being grateful for family, etc., but from its infancy, the holiday was centered on celebrating early American arrival, which of course turned out to REALLY BE an invasion, an occupation, and slaughter. Sort of like Iraq.

I wish there was a turkey target over Iraq.

If we're not out of Iraq next year I want to start spreading the word of a THANKSGIVING DAY FAST FOR PEACE. Especially since the day is traditionally a day of eating as much food as humanly possible in one sitting.

And also, let me say, I've never fasted before today. Isn't that weird? Everyone I talk to says they can't believe it. But even when I was macrobiotic for ten years I never fasted. But this fast is a personal political protest. And maybe if I had thought about it sooner I could have included others in the day with me. My family is really pissed off. Oh well.

Tom Raworth liked my idea of the fast, wishing me, "Non appetit!" and suggested that maybe we should all have a SHIT-IN, where we send bags of our Thanksgiving Day shit in plastic bags to the White House. HEHEHE!

p.s. here's a vegetarian Thanksgiving Day flash card by Jacquie Lawson.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


The Poetry Project at St. Marks Church
131 E. 10th St., New York City

A celebration and reading of the work of the brilliant and widely influential poet Frank O'Hara (1926-1966; author of Lunch Poems, Meditations in an Emergency, and Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara), for the purposes of honoring his 80th birthday and hearing the poems. Readers will include Bill Berkson, Ned Rorem, Tony Towle, CAConrad, Eileen Myles, Anne Waldman, Greg Fuchs, Taylor Mead, Maureen O'Hara, Patricia Spears Jones, Olivier Brossard, Bob Holman, John Yau, Kimberly Lyons, Lytle Shaw, and a number more. Co-sponsored by Poet's House and the Museum of Modern Art.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Greg Fuchs & CAConrad TOMORROW NIGHT! 


Greg Fuchs & CAConrad
present a reading to celebrate
Anne Cecil's art installation

137 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia

Sunday, November 12, 2006


For letter, click HERE --CAConrad


Below is a message sent out today by Laurie Fitzpatrick, an old friend and member of the community garden Cathleen Miller and I belong to at the corner of South and Broad Streets. With SO MANY gardens having been DESTROYED in the past year this is news that cannot be CANNOT BE ignored! PLEASE COME TO THE RALLY IF YOU CAN, AND PLEASE BRING FRIENDS! THE MORE OF US THERE ARE THE BETTER IT WILL LOOK ON THE NEWS AND THE MORE CITY HALL WILL HAVE TO FINALLY TAKE NOTICE AND PUT A HALT TO THIS INSANITY THAT'S GOING ON! --CAConrad

Dear Gardeners,

Attached is a flyer from my friends in the Hawthorn neighborhood regarding their proposed park at 12th and Catherine street -- just down the street from our garden. This park has been promised to the neighborhood by Carl Green and the Philadelphia Housing Authority and he is now going back on his promise and trying to sell the property to developers to put in more houses to sell. This neighborhood needs a park, all the neighbors want this park and have designed it in collaboration with U Arts and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. The state has put up money to build this greenspace but Carl Green and PHA are trying to take it away. Why? BECAUSE HE CAN! It's city politics at its worst.

Or better yet: he can try. The community -- however -- can beat him. You and I are the community so let's go!

I think it would be a great idea to show up at their rally and show our support. Not only because it's the right thing to do but because if they beat back these non-elected power brokers and their greedy developer friends, we will have a better chance of getting our green space at Broad and South created. So what do you say? Up for a protest/rally?

In the event you can't open the attachment, here is the information: Save Hawthorn Park community rally, 12 pm noon on Saturday, November 18th, 12th and Catherine street. Free coffee and cider will be served.

Thanks for your time!



$3 beers on tap provided by YARDS
--event is free--

Greg Fuchs & CAConrad
present a reading to celebrate
the installation art of Anne Cecil titled

click here for NEXUS

137 North 2nd Street

Friday, November 10, 2006


Nicole's Storytelling series has a crazy, fun theme this Monday: BAR NOIR

I'll be announcing my candidacy for mayor. I'm not kidding. Well. Anyway, inspired by Mytili Jagannathan, who insists we run for local office to help change this FUCKED UP WORLD at the grassroots!

future Mayor of Philadelphia
(drag queens and butch lesbians will fill my cabinet! that'll show'em!)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tom Devaney leaving the PhillySound blog 

It is with real sadness I write to say I am going to leave the PhillySound blog. After some soul-searching, and time, I feel it's right for me.

The roots, friendships, and connections of the poets here run deep. For me those relationships--the work and the poetry--are what matter most.

I look forward to continue reading the blog every now and again, but mostly, I look forward to reading your work, and seeing you at readings, and socially.

With admiration and great respect,

Tom Devaney

Please feel free to contact me at: thomasdevaney1@gmail.com

On with NEW things INDEED! 

Tonight at the Charles Bernstein reading (which was FUCKING DYNAMITE BY THE WAY!), Mr. Bernstein looked up from the microphone JUST BEFORE reading from his fantastic poem "The Ballad of the Girlie Man," and said, "Yeah, the Democrats won. And that's good, sure, but isn't it funny how Hillary Clinton and all these others all of a sudden tell us about things as though we haven't been saying them ourselves marching in the streets? Is it possible they're just finding out now?" HOW MARVELOUS! He sets it all right down exactly where it should land. A brave poet! And how we need them!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

time for change all 'round 

jenn, not only do i think that your post is well-stated & i agree with you whole-heartedly, but your last line sums up much of what i've been feeling about our little group blog here. because i'm increasingly interested in prioritizing my time & energy, preserving my sanity & surrounding myself with more empowering vibes (& less drama), i've been considering leaving it for awhile. after this weird volley & just tonight receiving an email calling me manipulative regarding my recent posts here, i'm further compelled to remove myself. & thanks, jenn, for not just acknowledging my feeling about constructive action, but by repeating & defending it. it's nice to feel the warmth of humanity instead of hearing sermons about it.

this is not out of anger or spite but simply what is healthier & prudent for me personally. i don't choose to maintain this level or type of engagement when i have better options for how i spend my/our precious time. after i post this, i'll remove my link in the right column, as well, as i believe it's appropriate. no hard feelings on my part, conrad. you keep givin' 'em hell. i do love your passion.

i can't say how much i appreciate every one here and everything the phillysound has done for me. it's just that i need to focus on other things for myself at the moment.



I thought the name-calling had started already, at least by implication, when you said you thought I was advocating the silencing of voices.

One of my three-year-olds has been throwing up & running a fever for three days; he has not been sleeping, therefore I have not been sleeping. The bitchy comment about the rain was just that: bitchy exhaustion, something I try not to succumb to in here or elsewhere. For that, I apologize.

For everything else, not so much, including my disillusionment with the candidate I feel you were shoving down everyone's throat -- unless that's not what you meant to do when you trumpeted that Carl Romanelli was "the only sane PA vote." Again, I chose not to attack your choice, but respect your opinion while expressing my own, expecting that same respect in return. My mistake.

Hassen spoke in her earlier post -- the one to which I originally responded, which began my part in this whole mess -- that she's been trying to be mindful and postive and constructive in her actions & the way she lives her life.

Maybe that's why she understood what I was saying about Planned Parenthood, and assumed that it was my trying to be constructive and postive within a given situation, while you assumed such action must indicate an admission of guilt.

I look at the world in which we I live, at our collective current situation, & really try to find positive & realistic ways I can be constructive & impact change.

I'm sad to say that I'm feeling that posting on this blog does not fall into the above category.

jenn mcc.

don't mind if I do thread it 

WOW! I'm a bully!? I had no idea the name calling was coming!

Look, there was NOTHING wrong with me asking the questions I did. And there was NOTHING wrong with me thinking you were feeling that desperate, as many people have been feeling about this election, that you would be happy to not have the Greens on the ticket.

And it's not at all clear Jenn that when you said, "Therefore, while I increase my annual donation to Planned Parenthood" in the same sentence as saying you're voting for Carey that it wouldn't come across as your admission of feeling guilt?

To me IT VERY MUCH SEEMED like you were saying the "increase" was DUE TO the fact that you're voting for Carey. No? You don't see this? No?

For you to act like I'm stretching things is wild to me. But anyway, you say it wasn't that way. Of course you're also trying to tell me it didn't rain in South Philly yesterday evening. Okay, fine. But where I live (mere blocks away) it's been raining ever since, and still raining right now.

And hassen, you should know by now that your tactic of calling me names is not going to shut me up. I know you like to do that, as I've seen you do it numerous times to numerous people, especially when your argument has run low on gas, but you should know it's not going to work with me. It just makes me remind you of glass houses.


thread this 

honestly, conrad, you can be such a bully.

using the word 'guilt' as provocation worked. let me clarify it is not about guilt, which you probably understand quite well. what seems unclear if not unfathomable to you, however, is my main point - about doing something CONSTRUCTIVE & discontinuing negative, contentious crap here & in our country. i so hope when you post your last word on the subject you'll do so without further barbs & let it rest as i'm sure it's boring any poor passer-by. i know bores me.


for Silence, misinterpreted 

Re: “I'm of course relieved to find out that you're not interested in silencing 3rd party voices. Trust me, it wasn't clear at all. Jenn, I'm not in the habit of asking questions I already know the answers to.”

Conrad, after knowing you for years, & the many discussions that we’ve had about poetry & politics, for you to write that until my last post, you thought I might be interested in silencing 3rd party voices, or anyone’s voice for that matter, is disappointing, disheartening, & speaks volumes to me about how little you’ve listened to anything I’ve had to say.

”And when I stood in the rain for hours yesterday talking to complete strangers about what has been going on, some of the Democrats actually DID SAY they were glad that Casey put his black boot in the face of the Green Party.”

I’m sorry to hear that it was raining where you were. We were lucky with clear weather in South Philly & out in Fairmount where I work. I’m sure some Democrats did say that they were happy that the Greens got squashed. I hope that some of them provided articulate reasons why they felt that way & weren’t just nasty for the sake of being so.

”Although I have to tell you, there were more than a few people I spoke with yesterday who were in shock by the information I shared, and wanted to know more. I've since written to all those people with links and info.”

That’s awesome; I’m glad you educated those people. & I’m sure that, in the interest of full disclosure, when you were telling them to write in “Carl Romanelli” for Senator, you mentioned the source of his ballot money, & how hard the GOP tried to get him on the ballot expressly to divert votes from Casey.

"But you're wrong Jenn, I'm not interested in telling you to shut up. I was asking you questions, which is not something someone does when they want silence."

I’m sure you don’t mean it this way, Conrad, but your way of “asking questions” feels an awful lot like bullying to me.

You question my “silence” & assume that it’s somehow sinister, because I chose to respond to Hassen’s post, but hadn’t responded to yours. I do not have time to respond to every post on this blog, & in fact rarely post at all.

To other members of the blog: Henceforth, please know that if I do not post an “AMEN – RIGHT ON ” to your post, that it does not imply disagreement.

”I am however confused by hassen being enthusiastic about your idea of giving money to Planned Parenthood in order to make up for your Casey vote. Your admission of feeling guilty gives hassen "a mood-boost - constructive thinking - & action."”

Let me be perfectly clear about this point: I feel NO guilt about my vote for Casey. It was the right vote for me to make & I have NO regret about that. That doesn't mean that I don't look forward to voting against him come next primary. I hope that we have a viable alternative candidate to challenge him.

I already give money to Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA; I believe in PP’s national agenda as the largest sexual & reproductive healthcare provider in the US, & I believe in supporting local organizations whenever possible. If I’m casting a vote, even a vote in good conscience, for an anti-abortion candidate, it makes sense to me, in the interest of balance, to increase my contribution to such a provider as well.

I also have no regret that the Democrats took the House, may be on the verge of taking the Senate (in part due to Casey's victory), or that Rumsfeld has subsequently resigned.

viva Pelosi,

jenn mcc.

for Silence Broken 

Jenn, accusing me of being an enemy to community because I wonder why you were not interested in coming forth with discussing the original thread is just silly.

In fact hassen herself admits where the thread began by stating in a previous post that she had posted what she posted to make clear to readers about her differing views from the ones shared on the blog. So hassen was responding and making it a thread, and you jumped in later on.

My questions last night were from the silence you and hassen shared for the brutality directed at the Green Party.

I'm of course relieved to find out that you're not interested in silencing 3rd party voices.

Trust me, it wasn't clear at all. Jenn, I'm not in the habit of asking questions I already know the answers to.

And when I stood in the rain for hours yesterday talking to complete strangers about what has been going on, some of the Democrats actually DID SAY they were glad that Casey put his black boot in the face of the Green Party.

Although I have to tell you, there were more than a few people I spoke with yesterday who were in shock by the information I shared, and wanted to know more. I've since written to all those people with links and info.

But you're wrong Jenn, I'm not interested in telling you to shut up. I was asking you questions, which is not something someone does when they want silence.

In fact, it was the silence I was addressing.

And you did finally address it.

I am however confused by hassen being enthusiastic about your idea of giving money to Planned Parenthood in order to make up for your Casey vote. Your admission of feeling guilty gives hassen "a mood-boost - constructive thinking - & action."

Hmm, a mood-boost from someone acting out of guilt is so strange. But stranger things have happened.


my response 

what she said.

heart & blink,

dear Conrad & all 

Conrad :

I’m sorry I didn’t make this clearer in my original post – I wasn’t ignoring your posts on third party candidates, but I wasn’t responding to those posts, either. I was responding to your response to Hassen's post, & moreover your implication that to cast a vote for either major party senatorial candidate meant that the person casting the vote cares not about women or stopping the war, which I found reductive & offensive.

This conversation was in fact born out of your response to Hassen’s thread, in which she explained why she was voting major party. & you responded listing all the ways in which you disagree with her thinking. I agreed with Hassen’s philosophy regarding this election, & tried to explain why in a non-argumentative way. You responded & explained the ways in which you disagree with my thinking. We’re not all supposed to agree -- & I’m fine with that. I respect your support of third party candidates & the Green Party. I’m asking for the same respect for the choices I make regarding casting my own vote.

You were talking, yes. But it did not seem to me that you were looking for dialogue, but agreement.

Here’s where I agree: Disenfranchisement of third party candidates sucks. It sucks that PA has such a restrictive procedure regarding ballot access. It sucks that you need so many signatures & so much money to get on a ballot as a third-party candidate. & that’s policy I think many of us would like to see change, & I’m sure that those who are strongly committed to the viability of a third-party option will support the ongoing efforts of those, including the Greens, working to change that policy.

& for the record, while I do think the above sucks, I also think it sucks that the Luzerne County Greens/Romanelli (who you refer to as the only candidate who cared about women’s issues & stopping the war) accepted money from, among others, the founder/owner of Blackwater USA, from a lobbyist for Halliburton, and from one of the largest financial backers of the anti-choice proposition 73 in CA, as reported by Will Bunch & discussed at length on DEMOCRACY NOW!.

You asked:
"The question is, what exactly is under the umbrella of "luxury" in this statement?"

I apologize for not making this clearer in my previous posts. I will not presume to speak for Hassen, or anyone else, but for me, “luxury” meant simply this: The reality of this election was that either Santorum or Casey was going to win. I was concerned enough about the possibility of Santorum being re-elected that I believed, and still believe, that voting for Casey was the right thing for me to do. Frankly, I would have likely voted for the dead guy from Weekend at Bernie's if he was Santorum's opponent on the ballot.

That is: I was not comfortable affording myself the "luxury" of casting my vote in what would have been, for me, a symbolic fashion, for a candidate who I might find more ideologically palatable, when doing so could have impacted the outcome of the election & helped Santorum win. That said, I don’t consider Romanelli my ideal candidate either, but I totally respect your support of him & his campaign.

You said:

"It's suddenly unclear to me, as I wonder hard about your stand on the issue of backing a party whose members have left a trail of stitched mouths in its wake."

Conrad, I could just as easily say that I wonder hard about your stand on the issue of backing a candidate who’s called himself and the PA Greens into question by accepting money from such questionable donors, which include anti-abortion advocates & war-profiteers; but as I've said from the beginning, I'm not spoiling for an argument.

You said:
"The statement you both so openly back says "an ideal democracy at this point in the game" and I'm thinking, well, maybe THAT points to the answer I've been wondering hard about. That YES, "at this point in the game" we need to stomp and smash out that 3rd party voice."

That’s absolutely not what I was saying, & nowhere advocated the stomping & smashing out of that third party voice, which I feel has gotten considerable play on this blog; or of your voice, for that matter. I have said again & again that I was voting according to what I felt were the viable choices available to me as a voter in PA.

You said:
"To me though, that's not only NOT an ideal democracy, it's NO kind of democracy"

To me though, here's what I’m feeling on this community blog at the moment: that you’re really not interested in hearing opinions or views that are not ultimately in agreement with your own; and that’s NO kind of community.

You shared your views & explained, at length, why you were campaigning/voting in the manner you were. I respect you enough to believe that you've done your homework & thought long & hard about your choices. I don't share those choices, & I was under the impression that such difference of opinion was ok, especially here. I thought I was careful to be clear that I was not attacking you or your choices, or undermining your ideology, but sharing MY views & explaining why I was voting in the manner I was/did. I expected the same degree of respect.

Meanwhile: Final numbers won’t be known for another day or so, but it appears that voter turnout was significantly higher than four years ago – the people of the US finally got involved in a non-presidential election, & I’m really happy about that. To all of you who voted, thank you, no matter for whom.

jenn mcc.


Not to speak for Jenn, but perhaps her "silence" has to do with the fact that she's dealing with toddler projectile vomit.

Chris McC

dear hassen and Jenn McCreary 

It seems that the election is turning out in favor of the Democrats. And I truly hope you are both correct about this meaning something. Needing to get out of this war, etc., etc., you know what we all need from them.

And although our conversation has been enlightening on many levels, it's not once escaped my attention that neither of you ever made mention of the horrible, brutal behavior on the part of the Democrats against 3rd party candidates.

This conversation was born out of a thread in which I had created on the topic of EXTREME politics, as though politics in America were suddenly part of an EXTREME sports tv network.

The Democrats all across this nation were removing 3rd party candidates from ballots, uninviting, ignoring them for debate times, dragging them to court, bullying and swaggering over them with their tyrannical powers of this American corporate-industrial-military-government's muscle.

We went from me talking about some of the most startling facts AS THEY UNFOLDED, from a few of the very mouths of some of the staff in Pennsylvania who were WITNESS to these incredible injustices, to the two of you ignoring ALL this information to talk exclusively on the topic of the Democrats being the ones we need to get behind.

So my question to you hassen, and you Jenn, is, how do you feel about all this? Since you have been reluctant to say anything about it, I have to ask.

For you to both ignore the elephant in the room makes my mind wonder, and wonder hard. Wondering such things as, "Do hassen and Jenn think none of this is true? Do they think all of this information is part of some collective hallucination shared only by Green Party candidates, staff and supporters? I wonder. All I can do is wonder, since they have had nothing to say."

And I have to ask the both of you about the quote, "Attempting to create an ideal democracy at this point in the game is a luxury we don’t have in this country." The quote that you made hassen, and that you Jenn echoed, saying you felt it to be "succinctly stated" by hassen.

The question is, what exactly is under the umbrella of "luxury" in this statement?

It's suddenly unclear to me, as I wonder hard about your stand on the issue of backing a party whose members have left a trail of stitched mouths in its wake.

The statement you both so openly back says "an ideal democracy at this point in the game" and I'm thinking, well, maybe THAT points to the answer I've been wondering hard about. That YES, "at this point in the game" we need to stomp and smash out that 3rd party voice.

To me though, that's not only NOT an ideal democracy, it's NO kind of democracy.

Is it possible we've come to this in our country? The idea that DEMOCRACY ITSELF is a luxury we can no longer afford? We need a brutal fist knocking in the teeth of any who dare challenge?

Your silence on these matters is where I am living with this, you see?

Democracy cannot stand upright in such a landscape.

Democracy "at this point in the game" is suddenly just a word that once meant something around here.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

my momma 

thanks for your voice here, Jenn. i really like your idea to increase your donation to Planned Parenthood to sort of make up for the Casey vote - LOVE IT! this is exactly the sort of thing that really gives me a mood-boost - constructive thinking - & action.

as I type, i'm waiting for my son so we can go vote together. this will be the first time we do, though he's been voting for the last couple years. that is one reason i'm excited this very minute. another is the positive election forecast i've been hearing. & the simple joy that i get to vote! election days really should be national holidays. it would reinforce voter privilege and responsibility - & people could do eleventh hour candidate/issue research instead of mindless voting or not voting at all. it would only help democracy.

a friend sent me this great letter from Michael Moore giving 5 reasons to vote today. in it, he points out that if they win, we get to hold Democrats accountable. i don't have much faith at all in the DNC as is & i dig the idea that this election might also inspire major changes within the party.

on a lighter note (;^/), you gotta check out NJ Weedman running for office here:

"Every community in America has a "weedman', we are a valueable part of the cannabis consuming community, but I Edward Forchion besides being cute, handsome, suave and devanaire; I am a little vain. I claim the entire State of New Jersey."

too bad we don't have coronations in this country.

anyway, i hope all those who insist on voting independent will consider voting for my momma, who just had surgery today and would, among other things, likely create a kickass healthcare plan.

i'm now going to strut down to the borough hall & VOTE...

evils, lesser. 

I didn’t mean to imply that Hassen couldn’t hold her own – of course she can.

Conrad, I don’t doubt that Casey would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade & never argued otherwise; but, so would Santorum. & Santorum also opposes the morning after pill, about which Casey said (in re: should it be sold Over the Counter):

"Yes, I'm in favor…I think we've got to make it widely available, and I think that's one of the ways we reach common ground on the very tough issue of abortion: emergency contraception can reduce the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies. That's what we should emphasize."

Again, *given my choices* of the two viable candidates, I’m going to go with Casey. Especially when Mr. Crazypants doesn't even like birth control, & has said that states should have the right to ban a woman's access to birth control.

Conrad, yes, I realize that Santorum thinks Casey’s idea of sending more troops into Iraq is insane. Just as I’m sure you realize that Santorum thinks we should continue following Bush’s plan & "stay the course" in Iraq indefinitely. When asked about U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq:

“I don't think you ask that question,” he said. “I know that's the question everybody wants to ask. But I don't think anyone would ask that question in 1944, "Gee, how long are we going to be in Europe?' We're going to be in Europe until we win,” Santorum said.

Santorum thinks we should stay in Iraq “until we win.” Do you think that he really believes that this will be accomplished without sending any more troops into Iraq?

Conrad, you say: “Hitler is actually a choice for the one who would BLINDLY act in such a foolish way. Casey's choice would only pull us closer to the worst possible thing for this world.”

Luckily, Casey would not be the sole decider of the direction of the war. His victory, however, could help the Democrats take back the Senate – can we not agree that a Democrat-led Senate is preferable to a Republican-led Senate in re: ending the war, women’s issues, domestic issues, etc.?

happy election day,

jenn mcc.

on Reluctance 

At the Alice Notley reading last night at the Kelly Writers House (ONE OF THE BEST READINGS I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE BY ANY POET!) someone asked her should poets engage in politics. She answered with a half-laugh, "We're living in the most dangerous time of our lives, YES, ENGAGE!"


Hitler you say? 

First off, hassen, thanks for your post, and I've never once thought you were trying to censor me, so don't worry about that. And are you feeling "alone out here" like Jenn sees you? You always seem to be able to hold your own just fine as far as I've seen. How odd.

And frankly I feel the opposite about you being alone, meaning that MOST everyone agrees with you. You are FAR from alone! As a matter of fact, that information I posted about what happened to Carl Romanelli, now THAT'S what's alone. It's like it didn't happen, unless you're listening to Amy Goodman on DEMOCRACY NOW, or a few other off-the-chart sources.

And Casey WILL help put an end to legal abortion when he's elected. That is something he very much wants on his report card. He pines for it.

Jenn, you realize that Santorum thinks Casey's idea of sending more troops into Iraq is insane? I hate to agree with Santorum, but, yes, it's insane.

Hitler is actually a choice for the one who would BLINDLY act in such a foolish way. Casey's choice would only pull us closer to the worst possible thing for this world.

Hassen you're lucky you don't have to deal with the Casey choice. I've made up my mind to not vote for Casey because I refuse to vote for someone who has such TERRIBLE ideas about the war, the safety of this world, and women's lives.


Monday, November 06, 2006

on Luxury & Pragmatism. & Hitler. 

Hey, all.

I share Hassen's reluctance to post politics on this blog. I'm also not really spoiling for an argument.

Since Hassen did speak up, though, I feel disingenuous leaving her alone out here, especially when I agree with her thoughts that there is too much at stake with this election to gamble on such a large scale, “voting for candidates that have no chance of winning.”

As a pro-choice feminist who plans on voting for Casey, I’m mildly offended by the implication that I therefore don’t care about women (or stopping the war) -- & I'd like to point out that there is a difference between apathy and pragmatism.

& while we're being pragmatic: let's take a moment and recognize that either Santorum or Casey is going to win this election.

Beyond unseating Santorum, electing Casey could help Dems take back the Senate.

Therefore, while I increase my annual donation to Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, I’m voting for the guy who’s anti-abortion, but who does support: emergency contraception, increased access to family planning, same-sex civil union, adoption for same-sex couples, increased funding for public schools, early childhood education, and tuition assistance, and raising the minimum wage to $7.25/hr.

Santorum loves a good Hitler metaphor... so I'm looking at it like this:

If you have the chance to vote against Hitler, and your choices are an imperfect major party candidate who has a strong chance of winning, or a political ideal who has no chance of winning & could conceivably weaken the chances of the imperfect guy -- who do you choose?

As Hassen succinctly stated: “Attempting to create an ideal democracy at this point in the game is a luxury we don’t have in this country.”

peace, love, & voter registration,

jenn mcc.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

3rd party etc 

i chose not to post here because my personal vision for the PhillySound blog is more about poetry & the arts than about politics - and because i don't want any reader to assume that i'm speaking for any other PhillySound poets but myself. the latter is the same reason i did post a simple link to it - to indicate, in the midst of several political posts, that not all of us here have the same opinion. that doesn't mean i want to censor you in any way & it's good you feel free to let others know how you're feeling & of course the information you post is valuable.

as for Casey, i live in Jersey & don't have to consider him for my vote, thankfully. i do feel that what i posted on my blog adequately sums up my stance and i'm leaving it at that (as i stated in the post). & i think your point is well stated, for what it's worth.

over the last few years, i've been really trying to be more mindful, thinking a lot about how to best spend my time if i really want anything to change. prioritizing for myself & not engaging so much in activities (often political discussions or such) that will make me feel cranky, miserably hopeless & paralyze/hinder me from attempting something more productive. for example, i could continue to argue about 3rd parties and join the continuum/fractal of polarization of the polarized, bore other readers & further infuriate you - or i could instead list some really great links for those who could use some inspiration or helpful information.

Architecture for Humanity
Donors Choose
Global Giving
Good Magazine
Inspired Protagonist
Millenium Promise
Organic Home Resources
Teach for America
White Dog Cafe Foundation
Women's Resource Center
Yes! Magazine

here's to [r]evolution,

Re: why i'm not voting for third party candidates (unless of course you care about women and stopping the war) 

Hi hassen. Posting a post here with a link to your blog is the same as posting here, so I'll respond here if you don't mind.

FIRST and most important, I'm not sure how you can expect anyone in Pennsylvania who cares about women to vote for Bob Casey. Just yesterday hassen you posted about women's rights, and then posted about NOT voting outside the box. In Pennsylvania the Democrat Casey is FEROCIOUSLY PRO-LIFE and NOT interested in hearing anything to do with women's rights whatsoever. We already know (unless we've been under a rock) where Santorum stands. But the Democrat AND Republican are both HOSTILE, I repeat HOSTILE to women and women's rights. It's like voting Fascist or Fascist-Light (and frankly I'm a little confused about which one is "Fascist-Light" at this point).

Taking this alone into account for Pennsylvania voters makes your 2 posts from yesterday a strange contradiction. The amount of HOSTILITY Casey has for women is exactly why he had to shut up the Green Party candidate Romanelli because Romanelli is VERY Pro Woman.

With our mutual concerns for human rights and environmental sanity at stake here hassen I'm not at all sure what either of the two main parties have done for such issues recently?

And I'm NOT talking about speeches given, I'm asking what have they LITERALLY done? Because if you take a look at the roll call page to see how the Senate in particular votes, it's pretty clear just how little Democrats care about the issues we say we care about.

Like giving themselves a raise but NOT raising the minimum wage after 10 years! That's a breathtaking thing right there, and that's just one of many things.

Of the things you site on your blog you mention, just for example, the issues of constitutional changes/interpretations on privacy issues. Yeah, exactly, for instance The Patriot Act, which the Democrats seem to wholeheartedly agree with. Look at the voting record, it's free and open to the public, and you will see for yourself where the Democrats stand, in fact it's a chorus of yea.

How do we move the middle Left when everyone in the system is moving Right? It's my feeling that voting FOR them while they're moving Right is agreeing with the shift to the Right.

Voting for Casey is agreeing with Casey. And Casey over and over says we need to send MORE Americans into Iraq. How can you possibly ask me to vote for that? That's madness, that vote. That's not the middle, that's insanity that is very much to the Right of the middle and an advocate of the fascist control. To be honest, if this war is a priority then Santorum is a better choice. But of course I'm not ever voting for Santorum.

Asking those of us in Pennsylvania to vote for Casey is literally asking us to AGREE that we need to send yet more forces into Iraq, when what we really should be doing is pulling out.

And hassen, did you read the things posted here about what Casey did to Romanelli? Is that okay with you? I mean, is it okay with you that Democrats destroy a 3rd party voice like they have been doing? And why? Why is it okay? Voting for Bob Casey or Hillary Clinton is AGREEING with their tyrannical snuffing out of any opposition to their Right Wing pre-election vote fixing.

Election Day is close at hand and I have that day off, and I intend to join ranks with Green Party staff all across this country to speak one-on-one with Democrats near the voting booths about what has been going on, since only DEMOCRACY NOW wants to let us know the truth.

My sign tomorrow will say, "CASEY HATES WOMEN AND IS PRO WAR!" When people ask me who to vote for I'll tell them to write-in "Carl Romanelli" who is the only sane PA vote.

A vote FOR Casey in PA is a vote AGAINST WOMEN! And a vote for Casey in PA is a vote FOR THE WAR AND TO KEEP IT GOING!


Saturday, November 04, 2006

why i'm not voting for third party candidates 

if anyone is interested, you can read about it on my blog as i'm sure not everyone represented here at the PhillySound blog agrees with me.

Please, for the love of humanity, VOTE!


will this election mean ratification (finally!) of the CEDAW by the US? 

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women - Wikipedia
Read the text of the Convention
As it states on the UN site:

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as an international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.

The Convention defines discrimination against women as "...any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field."

By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including:

-to incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women;

-to establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and

-to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.

The Convention provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men through ensuring women's equal access to, and equal opportunities in, political and public life -- including the right to vote and to stand for election -- as well as education, health and employment. States parties agree to take all appropriate measures, including legislation and temporary special measures, so that women can enjoy all their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Convention is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of women and targets culture and tradition as influential forces shaping gender roles and family relations. It affirms women's rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality and the nationality of their children. States parties also agree to take appropriate measures against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

Countries that have ratified or acceded to the Convention are legally bound to put its provisions into practice. They are also committed to submit national reports, at least every four years, on measures they have taken to comply with their treaty obligations.


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